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Waiting to Run

January 26, 2010

I last ran on Thursday. It was a fairly good run. I’d given myself permission to move down a notch from my usual daily distance of 6 to 8 miles to a shorter distance, out of compassion for my aching knee and the desire to avoid injury. I ended up running 5 miles that day, and feeling pretty good about the run overall. I got home pain-free but feeling like I’d done some good work, and, perhaps most importantly, having put some points on the negative side of the Weight Watchers equation.

Then, that afternoon, a freight train hit me–a massive head cold that arrived with fever, chills, and a solid-feeling congestion in my sinuses*. I was absolutely miserable and relegated to my bed for the rest of the day. (Thankfully, it was an early release day and the Boss had planned to take the afternoon off, so not only was he around to play with, care for, and make dinner for the kids, but I also got to be quarantined to try to keep the illness to one-fourth of the family.)

On Friday, my regularly-scheduled rest day, I actually felt pretty good. I got lots done and felt myself well on the way to recovery. On Saturday, when I was planning to run 15 for my weekly long run, I woke up with a mild but persistent sinus headache and incredible pressure in my nose and ears, and I shucked the run. On Sunday I felt well again, and set out to recover the mileage I’d abandoned Saturday. I set out early with my eye on completing 10 miles before going to church.

But, lo and behold, as I set off on my warm-up walk, I noticed that my knee didn’t hurt.

That the painlessness came as a dawning realization made me reflect on how long I’ve been experiencing that low- to mid-level pain and running through it. And, since I wasn’t in pain, I didn’t run–I walked about three miles instead.

I’m not sure how to explain that–that on the one day I felt no pain I decided not to run–except that it made so much sense that if my knee didn’t hurt after just two days of rest, maybe my body deserved a little more rest, to try to keep the pain at bay for good, or to at least avoid permanent injury.

Yes, I’m still focused on completing my event at the end of next month. But the fact that this is a “complete it” event and not a “race it” event gives me some flexibility, and I’m taking full advantage of it.

Went to my first session of yoga last night and slept in today. I plan to put in an easy short distance tomorrow, after five full days of rest, to test and push the knee.

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